Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm My Own Big Brother . . .?

Stephen Baker writes, in his new book, The Numerati, published by Houghton Mifflin and excerpted on,

"Those of us wielding cell phones, laptops, and credit cards fatten our digital
dossiers every day, simply by living. Take me. As I write on this spring
morning, Verizon, my cell phone company, can pin me down within several yards of
this café in New Jersey. Visa can testify that I'm well caffeinated, probably to
overcome the effects of the Portuguese wine I bought last night at 8:19. This
was just in time for watching a college basketball game, which, as TiVo might
know, I turned off after the first half. Security cameras capture time-stamped
images of me near every bank and convenience store. And don't get me started on
my Web wanderings. Those are already a matter of record for dozens of Internet
publishers and advertisers around the world."

Wow! I've often thought that in our headlong rush to embrace ever-expanding new technologies, we are doing something like this. Not being one of the "numerati," in fact, being barely numerate, my thinking didn't get much further than this.

But where it did get me was to a(n admittedly) fuzzy mental comparison between "us," with our heedless embrace of technology, and the fictional Will and Lyra, hero and heroine of the amazing His Dark Materials trilogy; Will and Lyra and their willing embrace of the miraculous and Subtle Knife, which, (spoiler alert), they learn, just before it's too late, "has intentions of its own." Which our hero and heroine did not intend.

With or without having read this sure-to-be-intriguing book by Mr. Baker, has anyone out there ever had similar thoughts about the way everything in our modern world, from cell phones to iPods to smart toilet seats, might have "intentions we do not intend?"

Why I am not an advice columnist.

I was reading Ask Amy, one of my favorite advice columns, today, and my personal response to the letter below tells you exactly why I have had to abandon my once cherished dream of becoming a syndicated advice columnist. The column reproduced here is a genuine question from the Ask Amy feature of the Chicago Tribune. My (would-be) answer is below it. See for yourself why as an advice columnist I'd be a bust.


My live-in girlfriend of two years dumped me a couple of weeks ago, saying that she had never loved me.

Since the breakup I haven't been doing well. We had two cats, one that I had adopted and one that we adopted together. I finally found an apartment. I had been under the impression that I would be taking both cats.

The two cats are very close, and I've always been the primary caretaker for them. I have been the one who cleaned the litter box and took them to the vet.

When I went to the apartment to pack, my ex told me that she wouldn't let me take both cats.

She told me that if I took our cat she would feel bitter toward me and that we would never be able to have a relationship of any sort.

I was furious and upset. I cried and screamed, and my anger really scared me.

To be honest, I am still in love with her, and I don't want to do anything that I know will cause me to lose her forever.

But I'm also horrified at giving up my cat, and horrified to think of my other cat crying all day and all night and refusing to eat, the way he did the only other time I separated them and took him to a new place.

Now I'm incredibly sad and lonely.

It seems like a lot to lose. Should I give up? And how can I deal with my anger, frustration, and sense of loss. What can I do?

A: Are you a woman?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

How Naive Was I?

I'm B-a-a-a-a-c-k!

God, it feels good to feel better! Not 100% yet, but SO much better than yesterday.

Yesterday felt exactly like detoxing except for one big improvement; I wasn't rolling around on the bathroom floor groaning, "God, if you get me out of this one, I'll never do it again!" THAT is a big improvement. Yesterday, I was just randomly sick; I didn't 'do it to myself.'

I ventured out of my "den of ill health" to get a coffee this morning, and as is my wont of a Sunday, drove myself and it over to a pleasant neighborhood park where I planned to drink it, call my sister, and see if I could manage a smoke. On the way, I was thinking of a conversation I had with my friend Kathy yesterday.

"So many people admit they won't vote for Obama just because he's Black," she said with a sigh.
"Really?" I answered. I was genuinely surprised. (Perhaps illness had made me naive?)
"Oh, yes. They admit they'll never vote for a Black man."

I was stunned. Then disheartened. One thing I've noticed about illness and me is that it opens up all kinds of emotional channels. Everything is bigger; love, fear, sadness, anger. Only the emotions that take a lot of energy, like anger, don't seem to get a lot of play. So I wasn't terribly angered by Kathy's assertion, which, on reflection, I know must be true. But my sadness was overwhelming.

And sitting in the "coffee park" this morning, watching the sun come up, I was flooded with joy, thinking that yes, this is one of the reasons I WANT to vote for Obama. I want to push away with both hands the people and the sickness that will not vote for a Black man.

That's quite different for voting for someone just because he is Black. Having made the decision to vote for Obama long ago (ask my neighbors how long the Obama sign has been in my front window), I am glad to have discovered another reason why it feels so right.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sorry, Possums!

I haven't been posting for a couple of days, and today I'm as sick as a parrot. Caught the stomach bug that's been felling infants an adults alike at work. Bummer! I was babysitting the grandkids last night, and when they finally fell asleep, the creeping nausea that had been growing all day finally hit! Can you say, "tsunami?"

I didn't sleep well, and I'm still a little weak and shaky. So I've cancelled all appointments and activities for today, and I'm going to veg out and watch dvds while I try to sleep.

I did post a little sum'in sum'in on Open Salon, if you care to peruse.

Sorry to hear the world is without the gorgeous and humanitarian Paul Newman this morning.

But I hear Obama gave as good as he got, without the Kerry condescencion or the Al Gore Eye Rolls.

Bring it!


Helen O

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

But wait, there's more!

Just in case The Love Laundry is not fulfilling all your Helenblogger needs, I've now opened an account on Open Salon. It provides writing prompts for me along with almost instantaneous feedback. And as you know, I am the girl for whom more is not enough and instant gratification takes too long, it should be right up my alley. You can visit it here:

Some people see the glass as half-full.
Some people see the glass as half-empty.
Which kind are you?

Me, I'm the kind that sees that the glass is too damn small!

Love ya,


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This Just In . . . from our Welsh Correspondent at Villa Monterey

Bottle shock

Sales of a wine named Palin plummet in San Francisco
Oliver Burkeman
Tuesday September 23 2008

"As we've recently learned, real Americans, in the American heartland of America, eat moose and go snowmobiling. But in liberal San Francisco, out-of-touch left-wingers prefer to sip wine while discussing their love of terrorists and homosexuality. Or at least they did until they realised what they were drinking: at Yield Wine Bar in downtown San Francisco, sales of a once-popular organic red from Chile have plummeted in the last few weeks, because its name is Palin Syrah. "It was our bestselling wine before [the VP announcement]," owner Chris Tavelli laments. ("One Yield regular suggested that Tavelli amend the wine's tasting note to read 'moosemeat, salmon, hint of gunpowder'," reports the website Serious Eats.)"

"Pundits have long held that the distinction between "wine-track Democrats" and "beer-track Democrats" is a fundamental cultural cleavage in the US, and frankly, shunning Palin Syrah in appalled horror is typical elitist wine-track behaviour: do you think beer-track voters would shun Miller Lite just because someone called Miller was running for the Republicans? Of course not: they'd get on and drink it. Anyway, when McCain wins in November it will be necessary to consume very large amounts of alcohol constantly for four years, whatever the brand name, so you might as well start practicing now. [Serious Eats]" Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited 2008


A reader from LeRoy, NY, writes to ask why Jenna Jameson's pregnancy with twins is newsworthy.

Well, it represents a scientific breakthrough. Until this moment, it was thought that sperm had to be deposited deep inside a woman's mysterious "lady parts" in order for fertilization to take place. Now we know this miracle of conception can happen just by having numerous anonymous partners simply do it on your face!

First the Wall Street Meltdown. Now This. Can You Say: "Signs of the Apocalypse?"

Ex-porn star Jenna Jameson expecting twins
Monday, September 22nd 2008, 5:51 PM

Jenna Jameson
Former porn star Jenna Jameson will soon find herself in a new role - the mother of twins.
Jameson, 34, recently learned that she is expecting twins with her partner,
Ultimate Fighting Champion Tito Ortiz, according to the gossip site These will be their first children.


"They're having twins," a friend of the superstar told the celebrity blogger. "Jenna and Tito just found out. They are beyond thrilled!"

Jameson gained fame in the 1990s as the self-proclaimed "Queen of Porn," having made more than 120 adult films before crossing into the mainstream movie industry.

She is the best-selling author of the 2005 autobiography, "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star."Jameson - who divorced from adult film studio owner Jay Grdina in 2006 and from porn star Brad Armstrong in 2001 — said she and Ortiz have no plans to get married.

"I think I'm gonna stay unmarried and just go for the babies!" Jameson told last month. "I'm following in Angelina's footsteps!"

Jameson's publicist did not return calls for comment.


Monday, September 22, 2008

On the soapbox

On a website I visit, I noticed a thread about AA, with the expected bashing by those who think AA exludes drug addicts, and by those who have been put off by what they see as a "religion" in other guise in AA. I greatly value my AA membership, and while I can understand that some people don't "get it," I really think that sometimes they just don't WANT to get it. That way they can stay sicker longer.

I posted a response, and am reproducing it here, since I wasn't able to post anything original yesterday or this morning yet. (And I know the world is waiting with 'bated breath for my matchless prose!)

"Those who do not recover are those who cannot or will not give themselves to this simple program." The folks for whom AA has not worked, are those who have not worked AA. (Sorry for the antimetabole, I've been listening to political speeches too much recently.) Seems from reading some of the anti AA posts, not much has changed since those words were written.

Some AA old-timers do object to the inclusion of drugs in a speaker's "sharing," but I've never seen anyone driven out of a meeting by this objection. To my mind, yes there is an underlying difference between an addict and an alcoholic, and it has been touched on already in this thread. ANYONE can be drug addict. All you have to do is take drugs. But an alcoholic has a disease characterized by a peculiar "mental twist."

Alcohol consumption is just the way we try to treat our disease -- and it works for awhile until it kills us or destroys our lives and the lives of those who love us. Alcoholism DEMANDS treatment, one way or another. If we make it through the end stages of our drinking alive, we have to treat our alcoholism another way, and AA is an extremely, some would say the only, effective way of treating alcoholism.

Some people who take drugs and become addicted to them are also alcoholics. Some are not. Using AA to treat non-alcoholic drug addicts, is, in my opinion, futile. Using AA to treat people who are just heavy or problem drinkers is futile, too. AA is a program for treating people with alcoholism.

Perhaps if alcoholism had been named for those who discovered this treatment, if it were called Wilson's Disease or Silkworth Syndrome, it would be easier to understand that the substance being consumed is not the problem. The nature of the patient is the problem.

The substance, whether alcohol or alcohol in one of its other forms (drugs), needs to be removed before treatment can take hold. If the patient is a true alcoholic and truly works the program of AA, wonderful things will happen and recovery will occur. (Not cure, recovery.)

If a person is simply a heavy drinker or a drug addict whose family or society in the form of the penal system has insisted on his or her attending AA "classes," I doubt any lasting change will be effected. Just my theory. ("Who is convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.")

Personally, I get a kick out of newcomers who share at meetings by saying "hi, i'm 'x' and i'm an alcoholic-addict." Aside from being redundant, it's almost like they're saying, "I see your alcoholism and I raise you my drug addiction."

If they're true alcoholics and they are really done drinking, they may get the message and stick around and eventually identify as alcoholics, for whom drug-taking was only a part of the whole story. If they are not alcoholics and are only drug addicts, I don't think the program of AA will truly benefit them. It may keep them clean, and that is a wonderful thing in itself, but I doubt if it will bring them the benefits it will an alcoholic who "truly gives himself/herself to this simple program."

However, I could be wrong. I learned to say that in AA.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh, Oh! Time to Bake the Cookies!

S'mores Cookies, above.
Dreamsicles, below.

I almost forgot -- I get to bake cookies tomorrow for the We Care Spaghetti Dinner and Carnival on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 20)! (And if you're in Vegas, come by Reformation Lutheran Church at 6th and St. Louis between 2 -5 for an awesome spaghetti dinner and a fun carnival for the kids.) Tickets $7 per person, $15 per couple, and kids under 12 attend free. It's for a VERY worthy cause: raising funds for We Care, the oldest women's recovery home in Las Vegas, serving women trying to recover from alcohol and drug abuse! I didn't go through We Care, but We Care went through me, and I'm a member of Grateful Hearts, the organization that raises funds for this important institution.

I'm planning on making two kinds of cookies, both show-stoppers, if I say so myself:

Dreamsicles (as the name implies, these taste like an orange creamsicle in cookie form.)


S'mores (cookies that replicate the campfire experience without the burned fingers and marshmallow goo!

So, as you see, it's not all politicking, Spanish lessons, trips to Mexico and flirtations with the neighbors! I bake, too! Yeah, baby; I'm bringing grannie back!

Busy, Busy . . .

I've just been busy busy for the last few days instead of my usual busy. (Somehow I've made time for an afternoon nap every day, though!)

Amy Rose's first birthday was Saturday. What a beauty! Nice to be with the family, and I mean inlaws, outlaws, black sheep, white hats, formers, futures, neocons, soccer moms, Born Agains and perfect 10s! What a group! It's great to be alive and in a big ole family!

Good news tonight; Liza emailed me to say the contract with Scholastic is in the mail! Woo-hoo! The advance will be very welcome in my dangerously depleted bank account! Since leaving Nevada Power, I have basically had a very expensive spring and summer vacation, and thank God that Matt has been doing well at the Revolution Bar at the Mirage, and is really pulling his weight financially at home, and then some.

He brought home a wireless router the other night AND hooked it up, so now he and I can both be online at the same time, and I don't have wires snaking all over the place.

I ran into my neighbor, Ali Pirouzhkar, yesterday. He's so cute! In a Middle-Eastern, Danny Thomas meets Groucho Marx kind of way. He was at the mailboxes, so I honked and rolled down my window. He had on a black shirt with blinding white collar and French cuffs, tucked into sharply creased, belted black slacks -- and that's his casual look, because on his head he had the cutest Gucci baseball cap! And of course his trademark GIGANTIC Michael-Caine-meets-Martin-Scorsese eyeglasses! He is so charming, when he came over to say hello, he put his hand through the car window, stroked me under the chin, and said, "Ah, yes, my neighbor. You are very beautiful lady!" Gotta love him! (Ali may not have much of an IMDB entry, but he has a Bacon Number of 2!)

Love and peace and bacon grease,


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Are YOU Registered?

Please make sure you are registered to vote! I checked this morning, and despite my having voted in every election (even local ones here in Las Vegas) since the age of 18, suddenly Clark County (a hotbed of Republicanism -- I'm just sayin') has no record of me as a registered voter. Suspicious! Anyway, I emailed them straightaway to make sure I actually AM ABLE to vote for Obama and Joe Biden on November 2.

Check your registration status! Every vote counts, especially now!

Peace out,


Be the change you want to see in the world

Join us. The world cannot take four more years, and neither can I!

Find more videos like this on Nevada State Democratic Party

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Poetry mode

I need to get back into poetry mode; I hope to be doing another book of children's poems this winter. But I haven't written any kind of poetry in a long time. It's hard to write when you're stone-blind drunk, despite what the movies show. So I need to practice.

This is not a children's poem, but it's something I've wanted to write ever since I realized that the woman I drive past every morning as I go to work is coming home from her night's work on the streets.

The mystery of you, walking out of the sun
Every day, as I move into it.

I think of all you have sold,
And all I have given away.

And I wouldn’t trade places.

You were beautiful in your way last night;
Now your tight shoes strain the swollen
Flesh of your feet. I can see clearly
How they hurt you. You, your skirt short and tight,
And your wig askew. Breasts big and hard,
Straining, too, the thin straps of your blouse.

As we pass each other, I look. Do you get
To keep your money? Who is it that beats you?
Do you want me to stop, and hold open the door of my car,
And say, come with me, and we’ll drive into the sun together?

You look down, and away, and the light changes, and I will drive on,
Into the day, thinking of you.

How you look; tired, disgusted, and old.
And there was a time,
When I would have traded places.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Alcoholic Thinking at Its Finest . . .

This is SOOOO alcoholic! I love it:

"Paul Baldwin, 48, was ordered held on $10,000 bail in Portsmouth, N.H., in May after his arrest for stealing a can of beer, which seems expensive except that it was Baldwin's 152nd arrest. When a judge asked if he wanted a lawyer appointed for him, Baldwin said, "I don't need a lawyer. I've been in this court more than you have." [Portsmouth Herald, 5-19-08] "

Matt was speaking to a friend who was complaining about having to go to Drug Court. Matt, not surprisingly, had never heard of drug court. "I've never heard of drug court," he told his friend. "But I've been to the Food Court. And the judge pronounced me deeee-licious!" (Such a good boy. And so funny, too.) I don't think his friend found it too funny.

People, Get Ready

"Palin isn't a joke to a sizable swath of the electorate; she's a champ. "

-- Deepak Chopra, Huffington Post, 9/10/08

We need to get behind our man Obama now; this is his "Swift-Boating Moment." He can't take the high road like John Kerry did, but he can't lose control, either. He needs to respond with righteous anger to the lies and evil of his opponents. Palin has reenergized "the base" (funny how what the Republicans call their core supporters is also what Al Quaeda means, isn't it) of the Republican party. We have to get our energy high, too, and use it to change our history!

Display your Obama yard and window signs, and your bumper stickers and T-shirts. Wear your support on your sleeve. Do what you can to destroy the Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin lie machine. And please, in the name of all that's good and holy, vote your conscience in November, and put our country on the right track again, before it's too late!

Pray for Obama and all who need it, please! (I have to remember that that means for my enemies too! Bummer!) Keep the faith, babies!

Love and Peace, out!

Dr. Seuss for Single Women of a Certain Age

No, Thanks!
I do not want to be a nurse,
I do not want to be a purse,
I do not want to squeeze your zits,
Just want a friend with benefits.

I do not want to trim your nails,
Do not want you to trim my sails,
I did not say you were a louse,
I just don’t want you in my house!

“Can I wash your car for you?”
“I‘d rather that you just washed you.”

“Would you like it in the tub?”
“I’d rather have a nice foot rub.

“I wonder what you‘re like in bed?”
“I have a feeling you‘re half-dead”

“What do you want? I’m just a man!”
“And there’s the problem, Stan, or Dan.”

I do not want a Stan or Dan or
Any other kind of man
To sofa-surf and watch tv,
That’s just not fun, so leave me be!

I don’t want someone else’s gas,
Underneath my nose to pass,
When I’m all settled for the night,
Your “oven” needs a pilot light.

No golfer, dentist, private eye
For this position need apply,
No NASCAR Dad or CPA--
You guys can all just go away.

No aging rock stars,
Or guys who go to bed at ten,

No racist,

(I’d rather have an anal probe.)

A mountain climbing baby-boomer?
I’d rather a malignant tumor,

A tattoo-parlor devotee?
I’d wish he would just go away,

A healthy, hale US Marine?
(Can think of nothing more obscene.)

A redneck from the deepest south?
(Threw up a little in my mouth.)

A hunter who can trap a bear?
Forget it, and get OFF my HAIR!

Stay tuned for the happy ending . . .

Word of the day: Snowbillies

This, evidently, is the term for racist, sexist, homophobes from up in the Great White North: Snowbillies. I like it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Something to think about

The divine Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders.

Sorry girls. Absolutely Fabulous you may be, but funny? "Not so much."

Look on the bright side, this has nothing to do with Sarah Palin:

Christopher Hitchens on men, women and humor: "Precisely because humor is a sign of intelligence (and many women believe, or were taught by their mothers, that they become threatening to men if they appear too bright), it could be that in some way men do not want women to be funny. They want them as an audience, not as rivals. And there is a huge, brimming reservoir of male unease, which it would be too easy for women to exploit. (Men can tell jokes about what happened to John Wayne Bobbitt, but they don't want women doing so.)"

(Ignoring the sexism inherent in Hitchens's framing of the issue, what do you think? Take the poll.)

Monday, September 8, 2008

I know, I said I was going to stop, but . . .

Christopher Hitchens

Deepak Chopra


I can't imagine two "thinkers" more divergent than Deepak Chopra and Christopher Hitchens! Yet I'm digging them both! Far out!

Check it out:

This is TOO good not to post. It's by Christopher Hitchens. It's about Sarah Palin. You can read the entire essay on

"The most appalling thing I have unearthed so far is the answer that she gave to a questionnaire when she ran for governor in 2006. All candidates were asked "Are you offended by the phrase 'Under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?" Her response was:

Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers [it's] good enough for me, and I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

The very slight problem with this—because it would truly be awful if Gov. Palin didn't know that the pledge itself dates from only the late 19th century and that the unwonted insertion of the words "under God" was made in the mid-1950s—is that it is somehow funny. And it's also the sort of mistake that many people can imagine themselves making and thus forgive someone else for making."

Palin's questionnaire answer, by the way, is perfect, spot-on pageant-girl talk. And is she ever a Pageant Girl. About ten years ago I had a boss who ran the Las Vegas division of the Miss Nevada pageant, a feeder pageant for Miss America. She hornswoggled me into "volunteering" to help the girls with their answers to the "poise" questions, and boy, oh, boy, do I wish I'd had a Sarah Palin in the bunch. She really has that pageant girl style down! (Whereas most of the girls I did coach have probably been spit out of the bottom of the porn industry by now.)

I have to admit, I WAS proud when our Miss Las Vegas went on to become Miss Nevada, beating out contenders like Miss Battle Mountain and Miss Winnemucca, and then WON the bathing suit portion of the actual Miss America competition in a twelve-dollar yellow one-piece she got at Marshalls. She was a beautiful girl, a member of the Rockettes, who, against all our advice, insisted on singing as her talent. A song she wrote herself. For her father. She accompanied herself on the guitar. It was sad.

She should have listened to us and high-kicked her way into the Miss America title! Now SHE could be the pageant girl plucked from obscurity to serve as Vice President! I'm just sayin'!

(DISCLAIMER: The unidentified young woman mentioned above has absolutely no connection to the porn industry, and has parlayed her bathing-suit wearing success into a wholesome life as a married mom. She may even be a hockey mom, for all I know.)

Sarah Palin; the pageant girl!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Doozy of a Day!

Wow, am I tired!

Pilates was all that and more. I got through about 45 minutes ok, the instructor kept saying "good, that's it," and then it happened. My right hip seized up, and I was in danger of getting a charleyhorse in my butt cheek. I don't know if you've ever had a charleyhorse in your ass, but I have, and it AIN'T funny. Ranks right up there with receiving intravenous potassium and waterboarding as things you don't ever want to have happen to you!
(I must admit, I looked like a cute little buddha, sitting on my mat with my little tummy all round and . . . round, in my exercise clothes! It must be a very appealing tummy, because when I went to We Care afterwards, a three-year-old boy made claws of his hands and growled at me, then bared his teeth, ran toward me, and actually bit me in the belly! That was a first!)
Aside from the biting, I'm glad I went to the meeting. My mission, should I accept it (already did) is to purchase the syrups for the snow-cone booth for the Spaghetti Dinner and Carnival! I can do it, I know I can!

Dinner with Nancy at Palace Station (they do a decent Greek Salad), then off to the meeting on Warm Springs and Cimarron. When I went online just now, I got a terrific email from my old high-school friend, Zi Pinsley. She forwarded Deepak Chopra's comments on the current political climate as it expresses spiritual states of being. I am not a Chopra fan, but I found it compelling, and myself in agreement. It's as if he put into words what I've felt in my heart. I'm going to post it here in it's entirety, because it's worth reading, even if you disagree.

Sometimes politics has the uncanny effect of mirroring the national psyche even when nobody intended to do that. This is perfectly illustrated by the rousing effect that Gov. Sarah Palin had on the Republican convention in Minneapolis this week.
On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City. By comparison, Rudy Giuliani is a towering international figure. Palin's pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.
She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of "the other." For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don't want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.) I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin's message.
In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision. Look at what she stands for:--Small town values -- a denial of America's global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.--Ignorance of world affairs -- a repudiation of the need to repair America's image abroad.--Family values -- a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don't need to be heeded.--Rigid stands on guns and abortion -- a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.--Patriotism -- the usual fallback in a failed war.--"Reform" -- an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn't fit your ideology.Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from "us" pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of "I'm all right, Jack," and "Why change? Everything's OK as it is."
The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.Obama's call for higher ideals in politics can't be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow -- we all do.
So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest. It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in. We deserve to see what we are getting, without disguise.

Sought through prayer and meditation . . .

A prayer for today:

"My soul longs for your presence, Lord.When I turn my thoughts to you,I find peace and contentment."

I found that prayer online by typing "daily prayer" into my toolbar browser. I like it. Don't let prayer on the same page as the "F" word throw you. "In literature as in life," as my kindergarten boyfriend Paul Lynch used to say!

Busy day starting off for today. My first Pilates class at 10:30 this morning. Many people long to get in touch with their inner child. I will be attempting today to get in touch with my "inner abs." (They are very much "inner," but I have been assured they are there!) Ouch!

I'll get to Grateful Hearts a little late, but I really feel I should go. (Read: Guilt!) The Spaghetti Dinner and Carnival is coming up, and there will be a lot to plan for, which I can't in good conscience let other people shoulder.

Last meeting I went to, someone moved to make me Vice President (!) and the motion carried. It reminded me of high school, when, a month into my freshman year, I was voted president of my class. That lasted until my impeachment scant months later! When people meet me, I come across cute and smart and funny and full of sass (kind of like a certain Alaska Governor), but I'm not really vice presidential material. Which usually becomes evident within a brief period of time. But just in case the Grateful Hearts ladies were really serious, and they really want me to assume the mantle of responsibility, I'd better get over there today, even if I'm a little late!

Which means I'd better go now and do a bit of the housework I didn't do yesterday because I was at the Science of Screenwriting seminar from 10 to 4! It was surprisingly cool, and the instructor brought the house down when he read my script summary aloud (of course he did -- it was pretty hilarious. Too bad I was going for a moving drama! No, actually, it was MEANT to be funny.) I'll try scanning it later so you can see! Hint: it involves Sarah Palin!

"Gotta go, got a date with a ghost!"

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Modest Proposal

Why don't all us Democrats join the Republican party and work to destroy it from within? "Come on, it'll be good!"

The Marzipan Lounge Is Now Open!

Check out my little sister's blog: The Marzipan Lounge! (Not that we're at all competitive or anything like that!) That's Pattie on the left of your screen, and our sister-in-law, Chris, on the right, at Silver Point beach club in Atlantic Beach, NY!

I had a lot of fun there when I lived back east, and Pattie and I and our families had a cabana together. Those were the days, or in the words of Prymaat Conehead, "Memories. We will enjoy them."

I can't get my words out!

I just read a posting on Gawker, only I read it too fast, because I thought the poster had written that he got an "enyarism." But he didn't, he spelled it right.

Only I thought, "Enyarism!" A stroke caused by too much new-age celtic chick-singing with no words and no melody and no beat!

I like to make up new words, but I have a hard time getting them into general use. Back when suicide bombers first hit the news, I wanted news readers on tv to start calling them "Islamikazis."

That never caught on either.

McCain the . . . Reformer?

OK, so I broke down and risked a cerebrovascular incident and listened to a l-i-i-t-t-l-e bit of McCain's speech last night while Matt was watching it online (I gave up cable, so that's how we roll at Casa O'Reilly now). Between the two of us yelling and sputtering, and Matt shoving his chair back from the monitor every now and then in exasperation, the two of us were left wondering -- What the Fuck? He kept talking about "change!"

OK, old white dude, you are running on the Republican ticket to replace the Republican lame duck, and you are talking about CHANGE? How do you get your balls that big?

And anyway, "change" is OUR thing. This is OUR change election.

And then there's this: The Sarah Palin Rap!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

No blogging tonight . . .

I'm sooooooo tired. I'm going to put on my sweet white cotton nightdress, and climb into my squooshy bed, turn out the lights, and . . . dream of Toblerone. . . because, in a world gone mad, there's always Toblerone!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm only sorry I didn't think of it first . . .

From today: "Conservative commentator Robert Novak leapt to Palin's defense Tuesday, pointing out that 'what cannot be measured is the impact on voters of a new, attractive and well-spoken woman.' What a presidential race this will be -- a new, attractive and well-spoken woman in one camp and an "African-American who is articulate and bright and clean" in another. We ARE progressive here in America!"

What I think: I think I wouldn't make too much hay of this tempest in a teabag. There are w-a-a-a-a-y too many families in this country with a pregnant teenage girl in them, and not all of them will be able to separate liberal glee over the typical conservative sexual/social hypocrisy embodied in this situation from liberal mockery of their situation, period. So the beauty queen who would be Vice President will become a grannie at 44, and her grandchild will have an Uncle Trig who's only a year older than him- or herself. Sounds a lot like the family I came from. I don't think there's automatically anything mockable about it. And I don't think a lot of other people will, either.

We mock Sarah Palin at our peril. Easy, easy.
Still, this poster was delicious!

Pop Quiz

Which Helen said this: “It was an irresistible mix of art and genitals,” when asked why she performed an erotic dance wearing an Etruscan cone bra in the cult classic, Caligula?

No, not me! It was the other gorgeous Helen:

Exercise Your Humanity -- Vote Democrat!

"Every time Obama smiles, an angel has an orgasm."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Study declares: "Scottish redheads 'more sexually attractive'

Well, what do you think? The answer's an obvious yes, imho! For more redheaded revelry, visit Or the Realm of Redheads!


Scottish redheads 'more sexually attractive'

Scotland's high proportion of redheads may be due to them being more sexually attractive, a leading skin specialist says.

Despite long being the target of music-hall comedians south of the border, red hair could simply be the result of sexual selection, according to dermatology expert Professor Jonathan Rees.

The Edinburgh University professor, in his inaugural lecture at the institution's medical school, said a single gene carried by up to 40% of Scots was responsible for red hair.

The finding was part of a study into the link between skin colour and sun sensitivity which found that although not all of those who carried the abnormal melanocortin-1 receptor were redheads, they tended to be more sensitive to sunlight.

Prof Rees said: "Our work suggests that the first human redheads walked this earth 50,000 years ago and then spread throughout northern Europe.

"Why are there so many redheads in Scotland? We cannot be certain that chance did not play a role, but we also suggest that the very obvious selection people make for their sexual partners based on physical characteristics may be relevant."

Prof Rees said the difference between people's sensitivity to ultraviolet rays varied by up to 100 times depending on their skin colour.

He added that while doctors were increasingly warning patients of the risks of skin cancer, ultraviolet radiation was being used to treat an increasingly wide range of skin diseases.

He said: "Questions for the future include not only how can we improve our current treatment and minimise the toxicity of ultraviolet, but also how can we go on making clinical discoveries to benefit the 10 or 20% of the population who suffer from skin disease."


This is what I'm talking about . . .

From "Why McCain can't stop saying, 'my friends,'" on (article by By Paul Collins)

. . . "Perhaps that's why this Foghorn Leghorn-ish turn of phrase also finds popularity among conservative populists. Since its last major outing in 1989, the phrase's most notable public users have been Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan, who deployed it six times in his 1992 RNC "culture war" speech. This was the hectoring strain of "my friendism" also favored by 1930s radio demagogue Father Charles Coughlin, and it's in these less nuanced uses that the phrase's dynamic becomes clearer: There's an implicit aggression originating in the singular form of the phrase. Generally, when someone not personally known to you addresses you as "my friend," the safe assumption to make is that he is not your friend. In the American vernacular, "my friend" precedes a punch in the face."

And this:

"What happened to change the phrase's status in our language after Eisenhower's 1956 speech? I have my own unprovable pet theory: It's because the following year saw The Music Man debut on Broadway. Ever since, the phrase has been irrevocably associated with old-timey con men in straw boaters: "My friends, you got trouble right here in River City!"

When McCain invokes "my friends," he's making an appeal to the old days—the really old days."


Got an email from Shonagh, letting us know that Abdou, her husband, is shaving his dreads because he's preparing for Ramadan. Muslims have to be ritually clean for this holy month. Shonagh is sad, she loves Abdou and his dreads.
To learn more about my cousin Shonagh and her husband Abdou, and my large Scottish family (and me, of course, go to my website,

I of course saw a business opportunity: The Ramadan Spa -- for all your ritual cleansing needs. I think it could fill a niche!

Speaking of business, check out the San Miguel Trading Company website; I don't do anything other than provide some of the copy -- all the hard work is done by others who understand the "magic" of the internet. But it's cool, and you can see a lot of the treasures of the shop, without going out to Lake Las Vegas. I love working with Marianne and Harry! Being surrounded by beautiful objects and the people who appreciate them, as well as the people who create them, really did my soul good during our Mexico trip!

Gotta go, more later.

getting started . . .

Complete this thought: "You don't have to be dirty to go to the love laundry, but . . .